March 1, 2013
The Dolder Grand.
If I am ever filthy rich, I vow to spend at least a week in the spa at this place (40,000 square feet of European spa). The hotel is The Dolder Grand - actually the hotel featured in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (in Zurich at the end when she is sporting her wig). Was delighted to stay there and spend a couple of hours in the spa while on the very short trip for work. It was like getting just a scrap of an incredible treat. 5 years ago the hotel was restored to its 1890 delightful state, with a modern wing added on by Lord Norman Foster.
I guess they added hanging candlesticks to the bar too.
In my two-hour stint at the spa, I bathed in mud, sat in a steamy sauna for 20 minutes, plunged into this freezing cold pool of water and occupied a "snow room" - in which snow actually falls. I guess the formula for a magical spa experience is a variety of glazes/textures, thermal readings and tiny mirrors covering the walls like tiles.
We were holding an event in the hotel, so we got a special tour - where we saw "theme" suites like this one (the Rolling Stones suite, where the room looks like it is straight out of 100 Club and the bathroom the inside of a disco ball).
The owner sprinkled his personal art collection all around the hotel; some of the pieces made my eyes bug out.
Like Takashi Murakami's mushrooms. Love them (I guess the story goes he spent his childhood mooning over his mother's mushroom garden). Each of those mushrooms in the painting above has a larger than life counterpart (like the one below).
Loved these - Philip Haas after Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Italian Renaissance painter's these).
Niki de Saint Phalle
You know the rest.